confidence =/= competence

Here I sit… watching bars grow.

Bars Grow


In my life as a video editor I am intimately familiar with the “blue render bar of joy” and the tense waiting that accompanies it building pixel by tiny pixel from left to right. I both curse and thank the wise geeks who programmed it for adding the shimmer effect so it appears to be moving even when it is not.

“I hate waiting” – Inigo Montoya (not his most famous line but the one I hear in my head and more applicable)

Here is what not to do: replace or delete files before you know what you are doing.

There are lots of applications where being a rebel and going your own way is an incredible high. Dealing with computers/tech/electronics, unless it is in a total fun sandbox space, is not usually the time to be adventuresome though.

I could have saved myself a world of hurt by looking up the solution before diving in. Google your geekery before you go it alone.

Follow directions and always have a working back-up is the order of the day.


Did I heed this? No I did not. Thus my site was down on the day that I was supposed to launch on WordPress (obvs this post is from a few weeks ago).

It sucks — there isn’t a better word for it Mom, sorry. It has major suckage.

There’s nothing much I can do but wait for this process to complete and hope that it works. (spoiler alert: it did not) This is the curse and the pleasure that is being a multipotentialite who likes to tinker and figure things out on her own. (and with that she adds “multipotentialite” to her Chrome dictionary)

There is a difference between confidence and competence that has to be respected.

See confidence is a double edged sword: it can be a powerful driving force that can propel you to take on challenges and win; and it can also, with perhaps overconfidence, drive you way over your depth. You fail because your competence doesn’t match your confidence.
This is uncomfortable and problematic but it is also a good thing. Better to challenge yourself to the limits of your abilities then never try. Allow your confidence and competence to blend to create both crises and accomplishment. 

Fail and be that much better next time.

As for my failure? I got back to zero and walked away. I knew I would fix it but I needed to get into a better headspace instead of obsessing on my failure.

My past competencies and successes tell me “keep your chin up kid and keep working, you’ll get there.” And it won’t really be starting from scratch because I/you will have learned along the way.

What happens after the moment(s) of suckage

We have those moments of DarthVader-esque NOOOOOOOO. Your face gets hot and blood is pounding in your ears. You can’t believe how stupid you were and would trade large sums of beer to get back the last 10 seconds or minutes. But what is, is. And the choice is now yours: what to do with the suck?

The best thing of course is to regain the competence-confidence balance. The forceful, satisfying, soul-on-fire self-assurance that I embrace and rely upon always is knowing I will do my damndest correct it. I will fix it. 

Sure I have my moments where I just want to crawl into bed. But that doesn’t make the problem go away. I “get up Bambi” myself into action and stoke that diminutive flame to get back to some level of confidence. For that is the only way it is going to get any better and I’ll usually be that much better for going through the process.

High Five

For my web fail, I took a break and then instead of spending hours trying to get back what I had lost, I started over. And instead of it taking many nights of work to get my site shipshape — or at least shippable — I did it that one night. Some minor tweaks made the next day and voila: WordPress site launch.

I know. I now also know now how to do it right. I learned from my mistake and I even think the site is better for the rebuild. I got the tumblr move to work on the new space saving me hours of copy-paste.If I publicized it probably no one would have known.


Most importantly, I am more confident AND competent. Next time – oh there will always be a next time -my self-assurance bar is a little greater for the knowledge I did it. (cue Mr. Rodgers)


How does your competence influence your confidence? Got a Fail turned Success story to share? Hey look there is a fun little place to pt comments. We love those.

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